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Showing posts from September 29, 2015

U.S. biotech to apply artificial intelligence to UK genome study

By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Berg, a private company that uses artificial intelligence to discover new drugs and diagnostics, will help England's national genomics project mine DNA and health data from thousands of British citizens for potential drug targets. Berg, based in Boston, was co-founded in 2006 by Silicon Valley real estate billionaire Carl Berg. Its newest agreement is with the Genomics England 100,000 Genomes Project, which aims to accelerate development of new diagnostics and treatments through a year-long industry trial, company executives told Reuters.


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From pixels to pixies: the future of touch is sound

By Jeremy Wagstaff SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Ultrasound - inaudible sound waves normally associated with cancer treatments and monitoring the unborn - may change the way we interact with our mobile devices. UK start-up Ultrahaptics, for example, is working with premium car maker Jaguar Land Rover [TAMOJL.UL] to create invisible air-based controls that drivers can feel and tweak. Instead of fumbling for the dashboard radio volume or temperature slider, and taking your eyes off the road, ultrasound waves would form the controls around your hand.

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'The Martian' Celebrates Discovery of Water on Mars

Following NASA's announcement that there is liquid water on the surface of Mars, Mark Watney, the fictional lead character in the upcoming movie "The Martian," has a very special message for the world. NASA's announcement of liquid water on Mars' surface came yesterday (Sept. 28), just a few days before the movie's premier this Friday (Oct. 2). The movie, which is based on the book of the same name by Andy Weir, stars Matt Damon as Watney.


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Intense Solar Flare Unleashed from Unruly Sunspot

An intense solar flare took out low-frequency radio communications over South America and the Atlantic Ocean earlier today (Sept. 28), and the unstable sunspot is likely to erupt again. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft captured an amazing video of the solar flare from space. The explosion unleashed extreme ultraviolet radiation that rushed over the Earth, officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center said in a statement.


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Antikythera Wreck Yields More Treasures of Ancient Greece's '1 Percent'

A bronze chair arm — possibly the remains of an ancient throne — and a piece of a Greek board game are among the latest treasures raised from the site of the famous shipwreck Antikythera. This year, archaeologists discovered an intact amphora (a vaselike container), a small table jug (known as a lagynos) and a rectangular chiseled stone, probably a statuette base. A section of bronze furniture may be the arm of a throne, according to the Woods Hold Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).


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Snack Time for Predators! 6 Weird Ways Wildfires Affect the Forest

From early visits from coyotes looking for an easy, and rodent-y, post-burn snack, to a shrubby buffet that flourishes for elk and bison, here are six ways forest fires affect trees and animals, and the science behind them. This year's fires are vast, affecting such states as California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. California is bearing the brunt of the destruction, with six fires covering 399,022 acres (1,614 square kilometers) — roughly the size of 18 Manhattans, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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Tiniest Snail Ever Found Could Fit Through Needle's Eye 10 Times

The newly discovered snail species, found in China, may be the world's smallest land snail. This is a large group, according to Barna P├íll-Gergely of Shinshu University in Japan and colleagues, who wrote in 2014 in the journal ZooKeys that snails this small account for most of the diversity in tropical land snails. The newest, tiniest snail is one of seven species recently discovered in China, the researchers reported today (Sept. 28) in ZooKeys.


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Oddly Gigantic Supermassive Black Hole Puzzles Scientists

The supermassive black hole at the heart of a recently discovered galaxy is much larger than it should be, and astronomers don't know why. The galaxy, known as SAGE0536AGN, lies about 2 billion light-years from Earth and contains roughly 25 billion times the mass of the sun. Galaxies of this size typically harbor central black holes with the equivalent of 12 million solar masses or so, but SAGE0536AGN's is about 30 times that heavy, weighing in at 350 million solar masses, a new study reports.


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Zero Gravity Corporation Celebrates 10 Years of Weightless Flights

The Virginia-based Zero Gravity Corp. (Zero G) has now been flying customers on a specially modified Boeing 727 jet for a decade. It's been amazing!" Terese Brewster, ZERO-G president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.


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Mars Gets More Habitable with Water Discovery, Scientists Say

The discovery of liquid (albeit very salty) water on Mars may suggest that the Red Planet is more habitable than previously thought, according to scientists. Strange, dark streaks that run down the sides of hills on the surface of Mars are formed partly by the presence of liquid water, scientists announced today (Sept. 28). Using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), the researchers say they now have strong evidence that salty water soaks the planet's surface soil, perhaps even flows down the slopes, and creates the dark streaks.


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